When Kim Ode wrote this column back in 2002, my gut told me she was right,
and it has stayed in my thoughts.
I had hoped that by now our kids would be coming home, but now hearing that President Obama plans on giving into the Generals and sending more troops.
I am again trembling along with Kim whose 9 year old son is now in college.
If this war is to continue then we need to reinstate the draft, and we need a war tax to pay for it.
I sent her an e-mail and asked her to send me the article here it is unedited.
I hope she doesn't mind!
Headline: The thought of going to war, and the trembling begins
Byline: Kim Ode; Staff Writer
It's been one of those weeks, a distracting week when I couldn't
seem to hold a thought any longer than my sneezes. The chill I feel
is not from the weather, but from a growing heat. I can't shake the
feeling that we're sliding into war with little idea of how we will
climb back out.
I can't shake the voices of the veterans who write their letters
to the editor and call the radio talk shows. They want to make sure
we're clear about what going to war really means and how hard it is
to shake the memory of slaughter and chaos and the stark fright of
I can't shake the gutsy futility of the people who ask that those
in Congress who voted to support making war be so kind as to tell
us in which branch of the armed forces their children and
grandchildren have enlisted. I would grant to President Bush a
wholehearted credibility that so far has been wavering if his
daughters were to walk into their local recruiting office.
I can't shake how strangely grateful I am that weaponry has
become so efficient that, by most projections, a war would be over
with ruthless rapidity, making the prospect of my ninth-grade son
eventually being called to fight seem slim - although mothers in
the Vietnam era might have thought the same thing.
I can't shake the suspicion that all the networks long ago signed
off on plans to get their news anchors on-site as soon as possible
to provide the most dramatic backdrop.
I can't shake a sense of trepidation about going to war against
people who use donated blood to paint election posters for Saddam
Hussein and who use their own blood to mark their ballots.
I can't shake the thought that there's a family of four in a
Baghdad suburb listening to the latest news reports and feeling
both frightened and outraged that a nation possessing weapons of
mass destruction is threatening a first strike against them.
I can't shake the sense that the administration will be caught
flat-footed by how quickly the "Hoo-ya!" mood of this country will
shift against it once they start offloading coffins onto the tarmac.
I can't shake my awe at the audacity of the serial sniper for
presuming to grab headlines with his weapon of singular destruction
while we're contemplating global war.
I can't shake the certainty of the bloodlust I'd feel if any harm
came to my family because of a foreign attack, nor the bitterness I
would harbor if my country provoked it.
I can't shake my fear that Saddam Hussein is a nut case, nor my
fear that we're playing into his hands.
I can't shake the weird optimism of ordering magazine
subscriptions for the school fundraiser, nor the prospect that even
in war, because we are the United States, that I might still make
use of Fine Cooking.
I can't shake the disappointment of knowing that some may label
me unpatriotic for these views at the same time they purport to
uphold the ideals of this country's freedoms.
I can't shake the sense that I need to be ready for something.
I'm not sure what that's going to mean. But it's causing me to
tremble, tremble, tremble.
- Kim Ode's columns run Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Write
to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 425 Portland Av. S.,
Minneapolis MN 55488. For past columns, go to